As my time as an EmpowerMoment writer draws to a close, I am desperately searching my mind, heart, and “closet” for pertinent topics that I have yet to cover. Then it hit me…I have yet to tell the full testimony of my faith building summer! A little over a year ago on my 25th birthday my best friend told me that I would not recognize myself by the time I was celebrating my 26th birthday. I knew exactly what she meant; I would be astounded at my spiritual growth.
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1 NIV)
I was raised in the church spending six out of the seven days worshipping God in some capacity. The only reason I had one day off is because the church was closed on Monday- Thank you Lord! I didn’t understand back then why I had to be the “Holy Roller” when all my friends could do as they pleased. In my opinion, my mother was the worst because she forced me to commit social suicide because I had to constantly attend church functions.
Even with all that religious backing, I still went away to college and did only God knows what. During my rebellion phase, I always felt the presence of the Lord but I had to make up for lost time. All the time I spent in the storehouse could have been spent in the streets! However, prior to graduation I realized that I could run as much as I wanted but the hold God had on my life was not going anywhere!
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)
I had to give you a little background in order for you to understand the significance of THIS summer. From the day I experienced that life changing epiphany until this year, I was still what you considered a lukewarm Christian. I was able to turn on and off my relationship with God like it was a light switch on the wall. I understood my destiny but I let my selfish ways of thinking determine how I behaved that day.
Then it happened…God heard me! I prayed that He remove me from the hectic work conditions and He did just that. (Click here to read about it.) Once God answered my prayers, I was officially unemployed without a plan. Sure I had a little money saved up, but how long could I live off a few thousand dollars. Instead of panicking I just prayed again. I sat there a while after Amen and God reassured me that this was going to be a time for me to increase my faith in Him. This was going to be a time that would make or break our relationship depending on how much I could rely on Him! Lastly, He let me know that I was getting ready to transition from a religious female to a spiritual woman of God! This was the beginning of my faith building summer.
“These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:7 NIV)
Ladies, I got fired from my job on May 5, 2011 and I have joy that I have never experienced before. I receive $220 a week ($880/month) for unemployment benefits and I make it my business to deduct my tithes and offerings off the top. Ironically, my monthly bills total over $1,200 and I have yet to miss a payment on anything!!! Just doing the math is evidence of the miracle but whole-heartedly trusting God to provide is where the spiritual growth comes into play. My transition over the last four months has been more intense than the preparation process the last 25 years. I was finally at a point in my life where NO ONE could help me but my Daddy and He made me a believer for certain! Having celebrated my 26th birthday a week ago, I can definitely recognize the change that my bestie prophesized in 2010. I have made the move from using my religion as my basis to making my spirituality my entire being.
Thank You for staying with me on this journey. I apologize for the times that I deliberately disobeyed You in order to feed my flesh. Please forgive me for not embracing our relationship earlier. I just praise Your name that You were still there with open arms! I am super excited about those faith increasing moments because it brings us closer and reminds me that You are my EVERYTHING!!! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
I EMPOWER you to be dedicated to increasing and strengthening your faith in God. Just because you can’t see Him doesn’t mean that He isn’t making things happen. Having total faith in God can make many of the issues you have been battling non-factors in your life because you are trusting and believing He is in control. Have a safe weekend. Be Blessed Ladies!
Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn” Isaiah 54:17